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The role of the disability movement in peace and conflict resolution

Strong civil rights legislations for persons with disabilities should be made in every nation so as to empower the disability movements

Peaceful and inclusive societies are a key driver for sustainable development. When the opposite happens, for example, war and violence and displacement, the consequences are many and detrimental to lives of all, including for persons with disabilities. This also includes acquiring of further disabilities.

Civil rights and human rights play a big role in the prevention of the emergence of personal, family, community, national and worldwide tensions. One of the key functions of the movements that represent persons with disabilities today is fighting violence and working for peace for the benefit of communities that are inclusive of those with disabilities.  

These movements are a strong and effective voice that raise effective public awareness against supporting wars and stirring conflicts.  Not only do the movements that represent persons with disabilities champion and fight for their rights, but also for the rights of all other marginalized groups in the society including women, ethnic groups, the elderly, orphans, street children and families and discriminated races.

Empowered Disability Movements 

Therefore, there is need that disability movements are empowered to become strong pressure groups that advocate to influence change of laws that respect and promote rights of marginalized groups. These movements should be involved when matters affecting persons with disabilities are on the table as they are endowed and versed with experiences and knowledge of persons with disabilities. Indeed, the disability movements should be empowered to have a larger capacity to resolve conflicts by negotiations, democracy, the spirit of tolerance and openness.

 In empowering movements of persons with disabilities, we are moving away from confining issues of persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups to the politics of care, dependency to championing for independent living.

In ensuring sustainable development, and building just and inclusive societies therefore, we must endeavor to strengthen movements of marginalized populations, including those of persons with disabilities. This would go a long way to support efforts of resolving conflicts by embracing negotiations and arbitration which can be done by disability movements when empowered to avoid war and violence and displacement and also prevent acquisition of further disabilities.

Naomi Gachanja 

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